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Our motto simply makes good sense

Dear Sir,

I read with interest, Bryant Trew's August 28 letter, raising questions about independence for Bermuda, in light of the latest independence push, now under way.

Mr Trew has a sharp eye and knows how to express himself, with clarity and weight. He always makes for a good read.

At the end of his letter, Mr Trew said he hoped Bermuda did not follow the lead of its motto, Quo fata ferunt, which translates as, “Whither the fates carry us”.

To follow the motto, with its apparently ad hoc approach to national life, Mr Trew warned, would do us “no favours”.

Disparaging Bermuda's motto is nothing new, and it comes easy.

But, there is a different way to look at it, which I noted in the following passage from my book, USS Bermuda (2009):

“It is fashionable in some circles to deride Bermuda's motto — Whither the Fates Carry Us — as completely unworthy of the country.

At first glance, it does come across as embarrassingly passive and visionless.

Beyond these first impressions lie more worthy meanings.

“Ponder the motto and one discerns a hard-boiled acceptance of Bermuda's lot in life: for ever small in a big, turbulent world, for ever vulnerable.

Ponder again and one detects a necessity to remain vigilant and a faith that it will be so.

“Scratch and one finds gritty optimism that the wiles and skills of the people will keep the island sailing the right tack, no matter what the wind.”

I think it's a great motto if one thinks of it that way; apt, realistic and absolutely positive. It's something to consider.



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Published September 05, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated September 05, 2019 at 8:58 am)

Our motto simply makes good sense

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